Who does the conveyancing work?
Anyone can do their own conveyancing, and DIY kits are available, although they generally provide only guidance material. It's critical to make sure your understanding of the contract is 100% correct, so think carefully about the risks involved and consider whether you'd be better off employing a full-time conveyancer or solicitor who has professional indemnity insurance to protect you should they make a mistake.
If you do choose to use a conveyancer, they must hold an appropriate licence in order to do your conveyancing work. You can generally perform a licence check on your state or territory’s Fair Trading (or equivalent) website – ask the conveyancer for their licence name and number to complete this.
Note that a conveyancer can usually only give you advice about the property transfer, whereas if you use a solicitor for your conveyancing work then they can advise you about the property transfer as well as other potentially related legal matters such as sales contract terms and tax.
What does a conveyancer do?
Conveyancing typically involves, among other things:
- Preparing, examining, lodging and/or exchanging the contract of sale
- Arranging building and pest inspections
- Researching the property for any outstanding issues such as arrears, easements or illegal building work
- Paying the deposit on your behalf
- Arranging stamp duty payment
- Attending settlement and registering the transfer
How much does conveyancing cost?
Costs will vary between solicitors and conveyancers. In addition to the service fee, you’ll also need to pay ‘disbursements’ that might include items such as a title search. It’s a good idea to ask your conveyancer to provide you with a breakdown of all likely costs before you set them to work for you.